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Thursday, September 3, 2015

#ThursdayThoughts: Special Guest post by Glenn Wood!

Good Morning Friends,

I am on the road today but as they say...the show must go on so here's a special guest post by Glenn Wood.....

For my Middle School book The Brain Sucker my main bad guy, Lester Smythe, is an evil genius who invents a machine designed to suck the goodness out of kids. He despises goodness and manners and wants to create a world where these things no longer exist. Sounds a bit far-fetched but the original idea came to me after observing a couple of children who appeared to have had any sense of good behaviour completely removed from their systems. It was like they had indeed been Brain Sucked.

This got me thinking. What if villains from other stories had succeeded in their dastardly plans?

The world would be overrun by Dementors, The Hunger Games would be a yearly occurrence, the lost boys would still be lost, Christmas would be nowhere to be seen thanks to the Grinch, and those 101 Dalmatian puppies would have been converted into a fashion accessory for Cruella.

Fortunately for humankind (and puppies) there are a host of plucky kids out there that won’t allow evil to triumph. This brings me to a dilemma often faced by authors (well, by me anyway) – how to make your heroic characters as interesting as the fiendish ones. Let’s face it, nasty characters are the most fun to write. You can let your dark side run riot and say and do things that, in the real world, would lead to imprisonment or detention in a rubber room. Whereas your protagonists have to be essentially good and this can translate as a little vanilla. 

I was very aware of this pitfall when developing The Brain Sucker so I worked hard to ensure that my heroes could not only foot it with the bad guys but were interesting in their own right. Callum is a gutsy but annoyingly stubborn boy who was born with a spinal defect and is confined to a wheelchair. This doesn’t slow him down though because his mechanically brilliant friend Sophie has re-engineered his wheelchair to do things not in the manufacturer’s handbook. And to ensure things are never boring, Callum and Sophie are both friends with Jinx, the world’s unluckiest boy. There’s never a dull moment when they are together and they are just the trio to take on insane Lester and his league of thuggish henchmen. Just as well too because I have seen first-hand what can happen when children appear to have had their goodness removed. 

It’s not pretty.  

Glenn Wood is an award winning copywriter and author who has four published books to his credit. These include his popular autobiographical novels – The Laughing Policeman and Cop Out – and two middle school books The Brain Sucker and The Bully Chip

For more information about Glenn Wood, visit his website http://www.glennwoodauthor.com and you can get a copy of The Brain Sucker at Amazon

Sounds like a good book for your young'uns!
Be sure and come back by for Saturday Spotlight and next week to see what treasures we find, thoughts we think and book/author we shine the spotlight on!
Until later...take care & God Bless.


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Congrats, Glenn! I enjoy writing for YA and middle grades myself as well as adults.
Children are such enthusiastic readers.

Susan Coryell said...

I, too, write YA. Your book sounds awesome! Best of luck!

MJ Schiller said...

I agree that many children these days appear to have their goodness sucked out. Like a first grader I ran into the other day. When I said, "Honey, your shoelace is undone. You might want to tie that up so you don't trip," she turned around to give me a baleful look (1st grade!) and said caustically, "I'm. fine." Unfortunately I think they get it from their parents, sometimes, because I find that fewer and fewer adults respond with, "You're welcome," when I tell them "thank you." They may just be little things, but they produce those slippery slopes that lead to bullying and all kinds of awful behavior. We just need to be kind to one another.
Don't ya just love my soapbox? Perty, ain't it?

Anyway--I love your cast of characters and this sounds like a good read for adults and children alike. Thanks for sharing it with us in this fun post!